I grew up in a wonderful and loving home in Southern California.I had an older brother and sister 12 and 15 years my senior respectively, parents who were happy together, and my aunt and cousins lived one street over.How does he feel like the personification of why my Dad is not around? News reached my Dad that Aaron and I had broken up, and on the eve of my 29 birthday my Dad wrote me a lengthy email attempting to mend our relationship.Though I was definitely willing to fight for him, I couldn’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be black or how he was interpreting any of this news. The email explained his feelings about black people as far as romantic relationships go and the culture differences from our own.I politely responded saying that I appreciated the explanation, but that these were not terms and conditions I was willing to live by.All of the key players in my life had very different reactions to me having a black boyfriend. My sister pulled away from me in a big way after this incident fearing also being exiled by my father.
And yet here he was, proposing ridiculous conditions in order for us to even be in the same room together.After a few hours of intense conversation he ultimately decided that this relationship was not for him.He had real questions; What kind of support will we have? What is everyone else thinking when they see us walking down the street?I called my Dad in early to December to break the news- I was bringing a guy home for the holidays. He told me that was not acceptable to him, he was disappointed in me, and there was no way I was bringing Aaron over. A week later my dad sent me a text saying he was opting out of my life. Here I was in an interracial relationship living naively (I guess) to the world and even my own family. Maybe this had to do with his North Carolina upbringing, his time spent in the Marines, or something in his life pre-Ashley? I was emotionally drained and therefore emotionally unavailable and I think it became obvious I wasn’t being honest. My legs were shaking under the table and my teeth were chattering as I explained everything.As I told him about Aaron and I, the phone was silent; a pause on the other end of the line, “Is that that black kid? I was not to call him anymore, I had 2 weeks to get all of my items out of our family home, he had removed me from his will, and Christmas was cancelled. My dad wasn’t one of those crazy racist confederate flag people, right? My Dad’s birthday was in January so I decided to reach out and try to get a conversation going, even if it was awkward. All I can say is that I got through it only by the grace of God and I have no recollection of my words.Some shrugged it off as being a typical reaction and just part of the everyday racism they experience as a people.